COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
11.1.1 Exploitation of sands and gravels in the Upper Thames valley began on an
extensive scale in the 1920s. The area, which spreads into Wiltshire, comprises large
tracts of terrace and alluvium deposits that are used as aggregates in the construction
industry. The winning and processing of minerals is an important source of employment
and this is likely to continue for many years.
11.1.2 The Cotswold Water Park was created in the 1960s and now extends to some
10500 hectares (40.5 square miles), comprising 132 man-made lakes totalling 1000
hectares. The Park is internationally significant for its nature conservation interest. It is
also of regional significance for water-based sport, recreation and tourism. Not
surprisingly, the area attracts many long-stay and day visitors. About 70% of the Cotswold
Water Park falls within Cotswold District, with the remaining 30% in Wiltshire.
11.1.3 The designated area of the Water Park extends from the South Cerney, Somerford
Keynes and Ashton Keynes area, through Down Ampney, Cricklade and Marston Meysey
eastwards to Fairford and Lechlade. A Joint Committee including the relevant county and
district councils, was first formed in 1967, in order to promote the development of the
recreational opportunities of the derelict gravel pits. Day-to-day practical management of
the Water Park is carried out by the Cotswold Water Park Society Limited, a not-for-profit
company with charitable status, which was set up in 1997.
11.1.4 Passing through the Water Park are the River Thames, the only navigable river in
Cotswold District, the line of the former Thames and Severn Canal, and the Thames Path
National Trail. In addition there are many local networks of footpaths, bridlepaths and
cycle routes that form important routes for local communities and visitors alike.
11.1.5 Exploitation of gravels in the Water Park has revealed exceptionally diverse fossil
fauna of the Jurassic period, some of which were previously unknown in the U.K. These
have a high educational value. The archaeological importance of the area is demonstrated
through the existence of prehistoric and Roman settlements.
11.1.6 The water table in the Upper Thames valley is high and the water flowing through
the sand and gravel deposits is unpolluted. Excavated areas fill naturally with water,
creating lakes that have established a high ecological value.
11.1.7 The resultant landscape is unusual in its extent and unique in the District, taking
on a wetland appearance, which ranges from derelict waste-strewn pits left untended
following mineral extraction, to strikingly beautiful lakes with maturing vegetation around
their margins. In its extent, variety and potential, the Cotswold Water Park is comparable
to The Norfolk Broads, which has National Park status.
11.1.8 Mineral extraction will continue in the South Cerney section of the Water Park
during the Plan period. However, the major concentration of mineral working will be in the
eastern section of the Water Park. Mineral working in the area north of Kempsford has
now started. Further extensive resources exist to the west, around Down Ampney
spreading into Wiltshire. The potential of this central section as a longer-term resource
area has particular implications for the highway network, including the upgrading of the
Eastern Spine Road linking the A417 and A419. This, together with the improved A419 and
the potential restoration of the Canal should provide the link between the eastern and
western parts of the Water Park.
11.1.9 The increasing pressures for development in the area have inevitably followed the
completion of mineral winning and restoration to lakes. As the mineral operators move
out, so the after-users move in. The long timescale of sand and gravel winning over such
an extensive area leads to a landscape that is in an almost continual state of evolution.
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
11.1.10 As a habitat, the Water Park as a whole is of international nature conservation
importance. Lowland hay meadows at Clattinger Farm and North Meadow are candidate
Special Areas for Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive. The Water Park is also of
national importance for wintering birds, breeding birds and aquatic plants. A core area
SSSI for aquatic plants and marl waters has been notified by English Nature to protect
those interests. In addition, there are several SSSI's covering unimproved meadow
habitats, which are a rare and declining resource, including several rare species. Moreover,
the Water Park is both regionally and locally important as a habitat for dragonflies and
damselflies, mammals, birds, algae and other freshwater flora and fauna.
11.1.11 It is important that the total sum and diversity of wildlife and natural features of
the Water Park is at least sustained and, preferably, increased. One major threat to this is
development which has the potential to conflict with nature conservation. However, this
need not necessarily be the case if development is well planned. The nature conservation
importance of the Water Park and related areas as a whole must at least be maintained.
To assist in achieving this aim, the Cotswold Water Park Joint Committee published its
Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), to cover the period 1997-2007. The BAP, which identifies
habitats and species of conservation concern, with action plans to address these concerns,
has been adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance. Copies can be obtained from the
Council or the Water Park Society.
11.1.12 Over the years, the lakes, mostly owned by the mineral operators, have become
used by a variety of private sports clubs for a range of water-based recreational and
sporting activities. A few areas have been developed as country parks or public access and
picnic areas managed by the Water Park Society on behalf of the Joint Committee. Public
footpaths and bridleways in the area have also gradually been improved and developed.
Activities tend to take place on the larger lakes so that nearly half the water area has
some active use. However, several lakes remain unrestored, unused and with no apparent
management or care; their landscape, nature conservation, recreation and tourism
potential unrealised.
11.1.13 More recently, the trend in the Water Park has been towards tourism-related
developments, particularly for different types of accommodation. Such tourism
development can act as an alternative to the traditional ‘honey pots’ of Bourton-on-theWater and Stow-on-the-Wold. Caravan parks and groups of holiday lodges set around
lakes have been joined by holiday villages of purpose-built second homes and proposals
for hotels . The majority of development that has taken place has been in the western
section of the Water Park, near the Western Spine Road. The point has been reached
where further, chalet development in that area would harm its character, hence further
such development there will be resisted.
11.1.14 The Joint Committee has improved Keynes Country Park into the most popular
and publicly accessible facility in the area, with children's beaches and play areas. Neigh
Bridge is a quieter country park. The development of a country park in the eastern section
of the Water Park is also an aim of the Joint Committee.
11.1.15 A variety of sports clubs operate in the Water Park, with a range of activities,
including coarse and game fishing, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and, jet-skiing.
Gloucestershire County Council Education service has developed a training centre lake
where children and young people can receive instruction in a variety of water-based
recreational activities.
11.1.16 Development can be a source of concern for the residents of settlements within
the area. Originally an agricultural area, the rich upper Thames valley meadows supported
numerous farms and small villages. As the farmland has diminished, the settlements have
remained, in parts seemingly isolated amid a sea of water-filled pits. The impact of
change, including the concerns of those who live in the settlements, must be taken
carefully into account when development proposals are considered for these lakes.
11.1.17 The need for investment in the area should not be an excuse for allowing
unacceptable developments, but it can bring opportunities and benefits, and these too,
must not be overlooked. The environment of the Water Park, so much valued by local
people and visitors alike, is essentially man-made and requires long-term investment in
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
management to sustain and enhance its ecological and recreational value. To assist in
achieving these aims the Joint Committee includes specific projects in its Strategy for the
Water Park, which this Council has adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance.
11.1.18 One of the intentions of the Joint Committee has been to seek to raise quality
standards of new development in the Water Park. Recent developments have shown what
can be done when there is a commitment to quality on the part of landowners, developers,
local authorities and the Environment Agency. Some developers, recognising the need for
countryside management in the Water Park, have been willing to enter into planning
obligations to contribute towards this. Restoration and habitat creation techniques are now
much improved, with advice available in the Cotswold Water BAP and from the Water Park
Society. The importance of establishing adequate lake margins, suitably graded and
planted to suit the needs of wildlife, is widely appreciated, adding not only to the visual
improvement of sites, but also to their potential for informal recreation.
Water Park Policies
11.1.19 Gloucestershire Structure Plan Policy NHE.8 requires proposals for development
in the Cotswold Water park to be considered in the context of all the relevant objectives.
These include: natures conservation interests; minerals extraction and beneficial after-use
of worked sites; facilitation of a wide range of recreation and tourism opportunities; and
protection of the integrity of existing villages and rural communities.
11.1.20 The Gloucestershire Minerals Local Plan, which has county-wide coverage, was
adopted in April 2003. It identifies Preferred Areas for sand and gravel extraction to the
north of Shorncote, at Cerney Wick, Kempsford/Whelford and west of Fairford. The
Cotswold District Local Plan provides the planning policies for after-use, recreation,
tourism, water-sports and nature conservation.
11.1.21 Cotswold District Council has adopted a two-part approach to deal with the
highly complex, and often conflicting, after uses following mineral extraction in the Water
Park. This requires all development to comply fully with policies, which consider various,
but equally important, aspects of the potential impact of proposals. Particularly important
is the need for development:
to meet certain, broad, Water Park principles, including: nature conservation;
protection of settlements; landscape enhancement; sport, recreation and
tourism; design; and the role of the private sector; and then
to be broadly compatible with the Water Park zones, published separately as
Supplementary Planning Guidance, which define levels of intensity of use based
on ease of access, proximity to settlements and the protection of quieter areas.
The Broad Principles
11.1.22 Throughout the Water Park, any development that takes place, and any use of
water or land that is proposed, must comply with certain basic principles.
Nature Conservation
11.1.23 The Cotswold Water Park is an extensive system of man-made habitats. There is
the capacity for like-for-like habitat replacement on a limited, and strictly controlled, basis,
habitat enhancement, and the creation of new habitats not yet represented in the Park.
The latter is especially relevant in the central section.
11.1.24 The whole of the Cotswold Water Park is acknowledged to be a key site for
nature conservation. English Nature has defined precisely the area of national importance
for wintering birds and breeding birds, to be safeguarded through Local Plan policies. The
aim must be to at least maintain, and preferably increase, the total sum of wildlife and
natural features in the Water Park, so that future generations can benefit from a wildlife
resource that is equivalent to, or greater, than that which we now enjoy.
11.1.25 This does not require that all features of nature conservation importance remain
the same, or necessarily in the same location, but the level of nature conservation value as
a whole must at least be maintained. Implementation will involve assessing the potential
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
impact of a development proposal on the existing wildlife resource, particularly wintering
and breeding bird numbers. Mitigation measures may include zoning development in time
and space and, in exceptional cases, provision of alternative habitat. Most development
proposals will require a full assessment of the nature conservation value of the site and the
possible impact of the development in order to guide and inform this process.
Protection of Settlements
11.1.26 The protection of the appearance and environment of settlements within the
Water Park is a fundamental consideration. The impact of development, whether
individually or cumulatively, in areas where people live, will therefore, be evaluated in
order to safeguard settlements.
Landscape Enhancement
11.1.27 The landscape of the Water Park has changed from agriculture, through mineralwinning, to a pattern of lakes and intervening dry land, with hedgerows and regenerating
vegetation. The improvement of the appearance and landscaping of the area, and creation
of a new landscape character, paying particular regard to topography, indigenous species
and the setting of the lakes and settlements, is an important benefit to be obtained from
any development. This will play an essential future role in the success of the area for
recreation, tourism and nature conservation.
11.1.28 Development of land areas needs to avoid over-development and landscape
denigration. By keeping a sensible, reasonably generous, proportion of land within sites
free from development and dedicated to landscaping, the improvement of the appearance
of the area will gradually occur.
(d) Sport, Recreation and Tourism
11.1.29 There is a requirement for the continuing provision of appropriate and
sustainable sport, recreation and tourism in the Water Park, which is both quiet and nonpolluting. An example is a water ski tow facility, for which there is a well-defined need.
11.1.30 New land and water-related uses may require new buildings. The existing
villages and farmsteads display traditional Cotswold architecture, but there is no strong
architectural tradition for the lakeside landscapes of the Water Park itself. The opportunity
should be taken in every development to raise the standards of layout, design, materials
and landscaping. New buildings for recreation, tourism and water sports must be of a high
standard. They could begin to develop their own style - not necessarily in the Cotswold
idiom - suited to waterside locations and set in extensive landscaping.
The Role of the Private Sector
11.1.31 The Water Park continues to evolve, with development tending to be led by the
private sector. Because of the differing timescales of mineral working operations and
subsequent after-use developments, the opportunities for large-scale comprehensive
development are limited. It is important that attention is paid to the areas between the
individual development projects and to the care and image of the Water Park as a whole,
including the road verges, overall maintenance, signing, interpretation, ranger services,
footpaths, bridleways and publicly accessible areas. In the Water Park, which functions as
a single entity, development for recreation, leisure and tourism should be considered in the
wider context of the Park as a whole and not just individual sites. The environmental
impact of increased numbers of visitors to the Water Park, created by such development,
requires environmental management and improvement. Each development should
contribute to the overall vision for the Park and its day-to-day maintenance.
11.1.32 The success of leisure, sporting and tourism businesses will, to a large extent,
depend on, and benefit from, the image, appearance and management of the area as a
whole. Development and new land uses which are acceptable will, therefore, be required to
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
contribute towards the overall management of the whole Water Park area. Some operators
and prospective developers have already acknowledged this concept. Management of
visitors and wildlife habitats will need to be co-ordinated, and the Joint Committee's
activities should be developed to achieve this with help from the private sector. It requires
a long term financial commitment.
[Proposals Map Inset 11 and 11A]
Within the Cotswold Water Park, shown on the Proposals Map and relevant
Insets, proposals for nature conservation, water-based sport, recreation,
tourism, and other development which accords with the policies of this Plan, will
be permitted if the following criteria are satisfied:
the maintenance or enhancement of the nature conservation importance of
the Water Park, particularly in relation to the lakes and associated habitats
listed in the Cotswold Water Park Biodiversity Action Plan, which may
involve measures to enhance the long term conservation value of a site that
is the subject of an application for planning permission or other land and/or
water within the Water Park;
where appropriate, habitat enhancement and the creation of new habitats,
which may involve measures to enhance the long term conservation value
of a site that is the subject of an application for planning permission or
other land and/or water within the Water Park;
the retention and, where appropriate, the enhancement of existing
landscape features that contribute to the character and/or appearance of
the site subject to an application;
the design and siting of new buildings being sympathetic to the character of
the area and avoiding harm to the landscape;
the development having a direct relationship to the use of the Water Park
for nature conservation, water-based sport, tourism and recreation;
the prevention of the over-dominance of one particular activity, or type of
provision, or the significant reduction in the choice of sites available for
uses and activities that are not adequately provided for within the Cotswold
Water Park; and
the provision of appropriate contributions towards the maintenance of the
nature conservation importance of the Water Park, habitat enhancement
and the creation of new habitats, and the overall management of the Water
1. Nature Conservation Importance: Development proposals must demonstrate that they will
not reduce wintering and breeding bird numbers, or adversely affect any other important wildlife
or natural feature. Alternatively, development proposals must compensate for any potential
reduction in wintering and breeding bird numbers, or loss of wildlife and natural features. In
such cases, it will be necessary to ensure that new or enhanced areas of replacement habitat are
provided, such that the nature conservation value of the area as a whole will not, at any time, be
diminished by the proposed development.
However, enhancement of the nature conservation resource cannot be used to justify a
development that would otherwise be unacceptable due to its detrimental impact. English Nature
has identified lakes which comprise the area of national importance for wintering birds, and which
may have regional importance for breeding birds. Details are included in the Cotswold Water Park
Biodiversity Action Plan, which is published as Supplementary Planning Guidance.
The nature conservation value of the Water Park is a dynamic resource. Therefore, any other
lakes identified by English Nature during the lifetime of this Plan will also be covered by this
Many lakes in the Water Park meet the criteria for SSSI designation and English Nature
has notified a core area SSSI for aquatic plants and marl waters. English Nature has also notified
a consultation area in line with Circular 1/92, requiring this Council to consult English Nature on
planning applications within that area. The Water Park does not, at present, qualify for
consideration as a Special Protection Area or Ramsar site, though this may change in time. This
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
Policy will be applied with equal force, irrespective of whether, or when, those designations take
2. Information Accompanying an Application: As development in the Water Park needs to
address a complex and sensitive range of issues, the Council is likely to require a significant
amount of detailed information to accompany applications. However, this will not always require
the preparation of a full environmental assessment or a formal environmental statement. Much
will depend on the scale and likely impact of the development and the site in question. Reference
should be made to Policy 4 (Environmental impact) and to the Town and Country Planning
(Environmental Impact Assessment)(England and Wales) Regulations 1999.
Advice should be sought from the District Council on the matters to be covered. Key issues are
likely to include the impact of development, whether in its own right or cumulatively, on nature
conservation interests; noise; traffic; landscape impact; archaeology; water quality; hydrological
issues; access to pedestrian/bus/cycle networks and the impact on the locality, including
The Institute of Environmental Assessment is able to provide quality control of consultants
through its membership.
3. Appropriate Contribution: A contribution will only be sought where the impact of the
proposal has a direct affect on the Water Park, thereby meeting the test of reasonableness set
out in Circular 1/97. Much will depend on the nature and scale of the proposal. As a general
guide, one per cent of the capital budget of the development project should be earmarked
(contract sum), although this is not a hard and fast rule. Contributions may well be ‘in kind’ and
could include additional off-site landscaping work or interpretation material or sporting and
recreation facilities. Any on-site landscaping or improvements to public access, or the upgrading
of the existing rights of way required in connection with the development would not be counted
towards this additional contribution. It should be seen as a contribution to the wider, mainly offsite, benefits of the Water Park as a whole, as an area of recreation, leisure, tourism and nature
conservation. The Cotswold Water Park Society has been established to undertake such work.
However the Society may not always be the most appropriate body to implement nature
conservation measures.
4. Supplementary Planning Guidance: The District Council has published supplementary
planning guidance for the Cotswold Water Park. This is based on a system of zoning by intensity
of use, to assist in the preparation of development proposals. The guidance has been tested
through the Local Plan inquiry process and will be a material consideration in determining
planning applications in the Water Park.
5. Overall Management of the Water Park: This includes the types of improvements set out
in the Cotswold Water Park Strategy, for example, improvements to existing, or the creation of
new, rights of way and cycleways, landscape restoration and improvement, other features or
facilities to maintain or enhance the Water Park’s function or operation as an area for nature
conservation, water sports, recreation and tourism.
11.2.1 The settlements in the Water Park derive much of their attraction from their
landscape setting. Protection boundaries have, therefore, been defined around settlements
to protect residential amenities and the landscape settings from disturbance caused by the
more disruptive after-uses. Minerals Local Plans prepared by Gloucestershire and Wiltshire
County Councils define similar boundaries to deal with the disturbance and disruption
caused by mineral working and restoration.
11.2.2 The boundaries are defined by natural features wherever possible, and vary in
extent depending on topography, landscape, the presence of natural features and the
existence of, or outstanding consent for, mineral winning operations. Development some
distance away could have an impact in terms of noise, traffic generation, pollution or visual
11.2.3 Settlement protection boundaries at Cerney Wick, Down Ampney, Dunfield,
Kempsford, Lechlade and South Cerney adjoin the boundary with Wiltshire. In addition, a
boundary has been defined to cover land within Cotswold District to help protect the
Wiltshire village of Marston Meysey.
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
[Proposals Map Insets 6, 7, 9, 11 and 11A]
Within the Settlement Protection Boundaries indicated on the relevant Proposals
Map Insets, amelioration measures, such as tree planting and bunding, which
protect residential amenities and enhance the landscape setting of settlements,
will normally be permitted. Proposals for sport, recreation and tourism, allowed
in principle in parts of the Water Park by Policy 19 and Policy 26, will not be
permitted within Settlement Protection Boundaries if they would damage
residential amenities and the setting of a settlement.
Settlements: Boundaries have been defined around Cerney Wick, Down Ampney, Dunfield,
Fairford and Horcott, Kempsford, Lechlade, Marston Meysey (Wiltshire), Poole Keynes, Shorncote,
Somerford Keynes, South Cerney and Whelford.
11.3.1 The Thames and Severn Canal opened in 1789, completing the navigation
between the two rivers via the earlier Stroudwater Canal. Following years of decline, the
canal was formally abandoned by Acts of Parliament in the early 1930s. Inevitably,
deterioration followed, coupled with the selling of land occupied by the canal, the removal
of bridges and locks, and the infilling of lengths of the waterway to facilitate a return to
agriculture, forestry and other uses.
11.3.2 Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport, Annex B, paragraph 12 states that
“..local authorities should identify and where appropriate protect disused waterways (by
allocating the land in development plans and ensuring sites and routes are not severed by
new development or transport infrastructure) where there is a reasonable degree of
certainty of a restoration project proceeding, in whole or in part, within the development
plan period.” The Structure Plan seeks to protect disused canals that have potential for
continuous transport use under Policy T.7. Policy RE.5 is specific to the restoration of the
Stroudwater, Thames and Severn Canal, and the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal,
as navigable waterways and protects their routes where compatible with other policies.
11.3.3 In July 2001, The Cotswold Canals Partnership was launched to promote the
restoration of the Cotswold Canals. The partnership includes The Waterways Trust, British
Waterways, SWERDA, local authorities and the Canals Trust.
11.3.4 The launch coincided with the publication of the ‘Report into the Feasibility of
restoring the Cotswold Canals’, prepared by British Waterways for The Waterways Trust.
The feasibility study concluded that full restoration from Thames to Severn would cost £82
million and is likely to be dependent on water transfer requirements. The study also
concluded that the benefits of such a restoration would be some £6.8 million visitor-spend
per year and 500 full-time jobs and 1400 part-time construction jobs. The establishment of
a walking link along the entire 36-mile length of the canals and individual restoration
projects are also part of the first five-year phase of restoration.
11.3.5 A Conservation Management Plan is being prepared, which will identify
environmental and heritage features of significance and set out policies for their
conservation, management and enhancement. It will incorporate a Biodiversity Action Plan
for the canal, which will deal with water quality and resource issues, and alien species,
amongst other things.
11.3.6 The Canals Partnership will seek further funding from a wide range of public,
private and voluntary sector sources and has support, in principle, from the Government
and local MP’s.
11.3.7 The District Council supports the Cotswold Canals Partnership and intends to use
its planning powers to ensure that the opportunity to restore the canal is not prejudiced by
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
new development. The Council will work closely with the Partnership to advance the case
for restoring the canal. The aim will be to secure such restoration as accords with the
policies in this Plan through co-operation and negotiation with landowners, rather than by
11.3.8 Throughout the canal’s length are a variety of structures and engineering works
constructed as part of the canal, and these are essential to its function and character.
Retaining walls, locks, lock-keepers' and lengthmen's cottages, bridges, basins, portals
and, indeed, the towing path itself, are part of the character of the canal environment.
They must be retained and, where possible, restored if and when development takes place
in their vicinity. Restoration of bridges must take account of present-day requirements.
11.3.9 For much of its course, the alignment of the canal is intact or readily discernible.
In areas where the canal has effectively been obliterated, its original course is relatively
easy to determine. Wherever possible, restoration should be on the original alignment,
but there may be circumstances when the canal could more readily be re-created
immediately alongside its original line, for example, as part of a post-extraction restoration
in gravel winning areas.
11.3.10 Restoration of the canal between the Sapperton Tunnel and Siddington may not
come forward before the end of the Plan period; however, the canal route and its environs
still need to be protected to facilitate future restoration. The canal route from Siddington
(east of Ashton Road) to Inglesham is where restoration efforts will be concentrated during
the earlier part of the Plan period and needs to be considered carefully. Expressed
preferences, to date, have favoured the historic route. However, a new route could be
required at Kempsford to overcome local difficulties. British Waterways will identify any
potential realigned route, together with the location of reservoirs, if required, to support
the management of water resources.
11.3.11 Canal-side development such as canal user facilities, supporting infrastructure
and offline marinas and boatyards may come forward before the end of the Plan period.
Such development will be judged against Policy 19:Development Outside Development
Boundaries, and other relevant policies.
[District-wide Proposals Map and Inset Maps 1, 6, 11 and 11A]
Development that would be likely to prevent or impair restoration of the
Thames and Severn Canal along the route shown on the Proposals Map, or
which would result in the loss of any buildings, locks or other structures
associated with the canal, or which would prevent opportunities for public
access, will not be permitted.
Any essential development that would affect the alignment of the canal will
be permitted only if provision is made for its restoration on an alternative
alignment, and for the restoration or improvement of the canal-side towing
path and its linking to existing rights of way and local communities. In the
event of any mineral extraction taking place along or adjacent to the canal,
the District Council will seek to ensure that the canal and any associated
structures are restored as part of the overall site restoration after extraction
has taken place.
Where appropriate, development adjacent, or close, to the Canal will be
expected to provide appropriate financial or physical contributions towards
the restoration of the canal as well as its towpath.
Development essential to the functional operation of the canal (e.g. pumping
stations, reservoirs and other infrastructure) will be permitted provided that
it does not significantly harm the historic fabric of the canal or its setting,
and that it accords with other relevant policies in this Plan.
When restoration is carried out, particular care must be taken to ensure that
the overall biodiversity value is enhanced in line with both CWPBAP and
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COTSWOLD DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN 2001-2011 (Adopted April 2006)
GBAP targets and the Conservation Management Plan for the Canal, and that
no environmental harm results from the future use of, or development
associated with, the canal.
1. Essential Development: Development which cannot be located other than on the route of
the canal and for which it is demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Council, that the advantages
of the development clearly outweigh those of restoring the canal along its original route.
2. Appropriate contributions: A contribution will be sought only where the proposal has a
direct effect on the Thames and Severn Canal and all the tests for planning obligations set out in
Circular 5/05 are met. Much will depend on the nature and scale of the proposal. As a general
guide one percent of the capital budget of the development project should be earmarked
(contract sum), although this is not a hard and fast rule. Contributions may well be in kind and
could include additional off site landscaping work, or interpretation material for sporting or
recreation facilities. Any on site landscaping or improvements to public access or the upgrading
of the rights of way required in connection with the development would not be counted towards
this additional contribution. It should be seen as a contribution to the wider, mainly off-site,
benefits of the Thames and Severn Canal restoration.
3. Mineral Extraction: Gloucestershire County Council is the Minerals Planning Authority and,
therefore, determines applications for the extraction of minerals.
4. CWPBAP/GBAP: The Cotswold Water Park Biodiversity Action Plan and Gloucestershire
Biodiversity Action Plan set targets for maintaining and increasing biodiversity.
5. Conservation Management Plan: British Waterways has agreed to prepare a full
Conservation Management Plan for the canal’s restoration, incorporating conservation techniques
for the conserving the built heritage, water quality and resource issues, as well as bio-diversity.
All works during restoration and beyond, which impact on environmental, biodiversity and
heritage features, should be undertaken in accordance with the policies in the Conservation
Management Plan.
11.4.1 Any proposals for development associated with the River Thames should be
complementary with the Environment Agency’s Strategy for the Upper Thames. The
Strategy seeks to establish an appropriate level of recreational development and use that
allows the river to flourish both as a leisure resource and a diverse and rich habitat. Such
proposals might include redevelopment of the wharf at Lechlade or restoration of the
Thames and Severn Canal to join the Thames. Any proposals, though, should be mindful
of the Agency’s concern that restoration of the Cotswold Canals should not be achieved by
increasing navigation access to the Thames above Lechlade towards Cricklade.
Proposals to increase moorings and further sport and recreation development,
both on and off the main channel of the River Thames, will be permitted where
there is the capacity for increased activity and where the impact upon the
environment is minimal and acceptable.
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The Local Plan must be read as a whole. Proposals will be considered against all relevant policies.